The Strengths Guy

Paul Brewerton

A series of real talk weekly podcasts covering topics to inspire, educate and well, maybe even transform. Occupational psychologist Dr Paul Brewerton takes you inside some of the stuff that can help you get the most from work and from life, every day. Get ready.

The strengths guy podcast trailer
Trailer 3 min 42 sec

All Episodes

In today’s podversation, I discuss with Sian Walters what challenges she’s facing as a people professional at Fleishman Hillard right now, and how the business is responding. Then get more into the meat of how Sian and the people team have set about deploying the strengths approach at Fleishman, how that’s helped in generally and how it’s helping right now, plus discussing more about the challenges in landing a positive psychology-based approach in a fast-paced business like Fleishman. Wrapping around that of course and as always, I’m going to ask some questions of Sian about her own journey, learnings and reflections on her career.

Nov 29

30 min 9 sec

In this episode, I discuss: Positive psychology and its attraction of criticismResearch findingsLinks to ‘happiness’ and ‘toxic positivity’The risks of Western-centrismLinks to religion, ethics and evangelismThe value of positive psychology?

Nov 8

8 min 39 sec

In this podcast, I want to get into flow with you by diving deeper into this idea, how it relates to stress and stress management, how you can use that knowledge to get more from your daily work as well as giving give you my Top 3 tips for getting into a flow state.

Nov 1

13 min 11 sec

Why do we need a model of well-being and why is this one good? I'll take you through the PERMA model, explain each element, and give you a sense of practically-speaking, how you can use it to up your own well-being. Seligman describes PERMA as a five factor model, which others have added to over the years but today I’m just going to cover the fab five of: P – Positive emotionsE – EngagementR – RelationshipsM – MeaningA – Achievement

Oct 18

12 min 53 sec

In this podcast, you'll discover what positive psychology is, some key concepts and how it can help you in your day to day life.

Oct 11

13 min 35 sec

How do organisations and the people within them, build their capacity to cope with change, shocks and uncertainty at the same time as dealing with increasing competitive and regulatory pressures that require a higher level of output to even stay in the game? Evidence is becoming increasingly compelling that building and leading organisations where people are psychologically safe, where they are valued and understood and where their talents and strengths are put to the very best use leads to the most positive organizational outcomes.

Oct 4

10 min 57 sec

It’s an overly connected and busy world, and we place our efforts on reacting rather than pausing. How much time are we really giving to problem solving and decision making?  So we feel disconnected and distanced from leaders who aren’t aware of their impact on others. What does conscious leadership look like? Someone who is committed to personal growth and mastery, to building their self-awareness, in service of supporting and developing other people’s potential.

Sep 27

42 min 9 sec

Feel like you've lost your mojo? Maybe you're stuck in a rut at work, meaning your interest in is starting to wane? Or could it be that you're moving to a more senior leadership role or moving into a different business area which will take you outside of their comfort zone? So how can you keep your mojo if it’s on a high, and how can you get your mojo back if it’s ebbing away. In this podcast, I want to give you my top tips for both.

Sep 13

9 min 46 sec

In this podcast, I want to give you five top tips for navigating your career whether you choose the ladder or the squiggle. They are: 1. Build a language around your strengths 2. Work your network…beyond the obvious 3. Keep learning and make it personal 4. Keep exploring your career possibilities 5. Own your career story Listen to find out more.

Sep 6

8 min 58 sec

There’s a lot of old ways of thinking about careers still kicking about in what you might have assumed would be a more enlightened time. So this podcast is designed to help debunk some of those career myths and help you build a career that’s more you-shaped, based on your strengths.  My five myths are: Work is meant to be tough, choosing a strengths-based career seems indulgentAll careers and roles will give me the same opportunity to use my strengths anyway, right?Other people will see my strengths and find the right role for meI should focus on removing my weaknesses and making myself an all-rounderMy role doesn’t really play to my strengths but there’s not much I can do about it

Aug 30

8 min 45 sec

I want to introduce you to a practical model that does just that. It will help you work out whether you’d prefer to be a manager, an expert, an entrepreneur or a whether you’d prefer to go it alone, or dedicate yourself to a cause, as well as several other things besides. I’ve been helping people make better career choices using this model for over 20 years and I am happy to tell you that it’s good. Very good.

Aug 23

10 min 12 sec

Picture the moment: you’ve seen a great role with a great organisation (or even a great internal project or assignment at work), and you just know that it’s a perfect fit for you and exactly what you want to be doing next in your career.  But how do you make sure you get the opportunity to convince others and, more importantly, smash that all-important interview? This podcast will help you smash your next interview, and all your future interviews, the strengths way, so that you can move to the next stage of your career journey, and the next and the next.

Aug 16

8 min 58 sec

In this podversation, Dr Paul Brewerton (aka The Strengths Guy) sits down with Steph Tranter. Steph knows all about taking the strengths approach into various different types of organisations and making it work and that’s something we wanted to share with the wider Strengthscope community. In this episode, we'll cover: How you position strengthsHow you sell itWhere it works and where it doesn’tSome of your success storiesHow you assess the impact you’veYour strengths wisdom and strengths experience as an independent practitioner out on the table so that more people can benefit.

Aug 9

57 min 5 sec

“Finding time for strategic leadership means finding ways to be less occupied with management activities.” ― Paul A. Sacco, Strategy Quest: The Executive Guide to Finding Business Opportunities In this podcast, discover: That it’s not about what you know, it’s about what you thinkWhy you need to think w i d e when you’re at the topHow it is possible to do less and still contribute more

Aug 2

12 min 55 sec

In this podcast, discover: why chilling out can bring you better results; what got you to where you are may not get you to where you want to be; and how to be not only authentic but also attuned!

Jul 5

10 min 7 sec

As we sit here today, Pride month in the UK is in full swing and many brands have switched up their logos to reflect that, in support of the LGBTQ+ community. But there is a risk that we lose the message in there that Pride is a protest. So today’s podcast is about Pride, where it came from and why it is still for a whole bunch of reasons very much a protest. It’s also about the link to strengths. And most importantly it’s about giving you some practical tips on how to be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community – as an individual human and as organisations.

Jun 28

45 min 38 sec

“Hold up a mirror and ask yourself what you are capable of doing, and what you really care about. Then take the initiative – don’t wait for someone else to ask you to act.” – Sylvia Earle In this podcast, discover 4 things to think about if you are a purpose-seeker, (and 3 other things if you’re not!); 10 great questions to keep asking yourself through life; the wheel of life and how to control it!

Jun 21

13 min 35 sec

“As more and more artificial intelligence is entering into the world, more and more emotional intelligence must enter into leadership.” ― Amit Ray, Mindfulness Meditation for Corporate Leadership and Management In this podcast, discover: What humans can do that machines cannot! (OR What is a bot and what is not?!)How to become a Marvel hero (or move closer to being one anyway!)How to develop your unique “you”!

Jun 7

9 min 26 sec

Today I will be talking to Rebecca Christianson about the experience of being a Millennial senior leader and Executive – both the opportunities and the challenges. This podversation is focused on those Millennial leaders themselves, but will be interesting for P&C professionals and other interested senior leaders wanting to better understand their peers. Some key takeaways you will discover: Why you need to listen to millennials!Why many millennials leave more traditional organisationsWho said “when they go low, you go high”Why self-care is fundamental to millennial leaders  Rebecca’s contact details as follows if you’re keen to follow her or find out more… 

May 30

53 min 14 sec

When it comes to being authentic, with skill, there are few better approaches than by using the strengths approach. So in this podcast, I would like to focus on how to be more you, the strengths way. I have 5 steps to share with you: 1. know your values and purpose; 2. understand what energises you; 3. build a brand around that; 4. keep stretching, keep learning; 5. avoid overdrive. I hope you enjoy this step by step guide to being you. Subscribe today and get The Strengths Guy podcast at the start of every working week. Read more:

May 23

9 min 1 sec

Today’s podcast brings us a truly tremendous human, doing a whole range of positive work in the community both in the UK and in DRC in Central Africa, Christian Bless. We discuss Chris's story: setting up Solola Bien, a TV show in DRC, the community group Boys 2 Men in London and most recently, Greaterself – a consultancy that aims to help African businesses bring transformation in workplaces through the recognition of strengths and self-awareness. We also look at what more can be done, and by whom, as regards community work. What’s needed and how can people help, what can they do? This is a genuinely inspiring podversation, giving us a personal journey around Chris's various community and business ventures. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. For more information on Chris’s community projects, please check out the following links: 

May 16

50 min 15 sec

I’m delighted to be having a conversation today with our Strengthscope intern, Abbigail Leeson. In her time with us, Abbigail has been focusing on building the Strengthscope practitioner community and has provided a lot of creative and research input to help us with that. Abbi is studying for her Psychology degree at Cardiff University and has been spending her placement year with us, in a slightly unusual set of circumstances because she’s actually met very very few of us in person thanks to the pandemic. Read more:

May 3

42 min 55 sec

It’s important for leaders to be clear on the purpose of their team, of their department and their organisation and the function of each in the world. This boils down to having a vision and sharing that vision of something beyond just a job or a project for each person working for you, but instead to help each employee feel part of something bigger which is making a positive difference in your context. This podcast gives you 7 steps on how to develop and share your leadership vision. Read more:

Apr 26

10 min 30 sec

In this podversation, I talk with Dr. Rebecca Newton, organisational psychologist and executive coach and author of Authentic Gravitas - Who Stands Out and Why. We discuss her career journey and how she got to where she is nowhow she uses the strengths approach her recent activities in the world of gravitas, its importance in leadership development and how to get itthe biggest challenges faced by people trying to develop gravitasauthenticity and its role in self awareness well beingHow she dealt with strengths in overdrivefemale empowerment, andher recent collaborations with Brene Brown at LSE You can find out more about Rebecca on her LinkedIn profile: Her website, Coach Adviser: Her book is available on Amazon:

Apr 18

57 min 39 sec

In my coaching and development work with senior execs, there is one activity that I can guarantee will always form part of our conversations, almost certainly more than once. And that’s stakeholder engagement. From forming a stakeholder engagement map to a stakeholder engagement plan or strategy, these discussions are almost always central to the success of our work together. The reason? Everyone needs to know who their key stakeholders are, as well as the needs and expectations of those stakeholders, so that you can work out best how to work together so that you can each get your needs met. At leadership level, the stakes often get higher, and unmanaged or even unknown stakeholders can become a reason for projects to hit turbulence and for careers to get stalled.

Apr 11

12 min 14 sec

Firstly, why build your leadership brand and is it worth doing? The answer is an emphatic "yes". Like all great brands, having a strong leadership brand produces strong results in terms of improved demand, perceived value, reputation and results.. More specifically, a leadership brand helps • To differentiate yourself in competitive internal and external marketplaces • To increase your visibility in your organisation and make others aware of your value • To ensure people have a clear sense of who you are and how to work with you • To become more self-confident and self-motivated as you gain self-awareness and clarity about what you have to offer and how that marks you out as positively different. This podcast looks at how YOU can shape your leadership brand through the leadership pyramid - an activity to help shape your communication of what’s important to you and how you can make a positive impact as a leader. Today’s podcast is all about building your leadership brand. Read more :

Apr 5

11 min 29 sec

This week, Dr Paul Brewerton (aka The Strengths Guy) sits down with Derek Appau; founder of Limitless Personal Excellence, a certified coach, personal effectiveness trainer and facilitator. They’ll be talking about the strengths approach and the use of psychometrics in the context of creating more inclusive, equitable, fair and diverse workplaces. Derek has some interesting experiences and views he'll share on the role of strengths and psychometrics to level the playing field for people from an ethnic minority background. Read more:

Mar 29

57 min 13 sec

From a business point of view, the pandemic has taught us many things. At a business leadership level, once of the most relevant is the importance of divergent thinking, of diverse, innovative perspectives in decision making, Particularly when under pressure and in uncertain situations. During the pandemic, the dependence of organisations on the decisions of their leaders for survival has been greater than at any time that I can remember. And I’m quite old. When you combine the pressure-cooker of economic uncertainty and groups of leaders who are too similar in their decision-making approach, you can get short-sighted, panicky decisions that won’t stand an organisation in the best stead. So in today’s podcast, I want to talk about how to bring diversity of thought to leadership teams so that the decisions made at the top of organisations have been considered from multiple and diverse viewpoints. Welcome to diversity of thought, the strengths way. Read more:

Mar 23

13 min 7 sec

Strengths based leadership is getting a lot of interest these days and rightly so. When leaders enable the strengths of their teams, there is a large spike in engagement. This can also lead to significant increases in productivity when taken into performance management conversations. So the strengths based approach - managing and leading by focusing on others’ strengths - makes a human difference and a business difference.  This episode looks at the unique qualities of leaders who lead with their strengths and how you, too, can become a more effective leader through strengths based leadership. Read more:

Mar 14

8 min 12 sec

In this podversation, Paul Brewerton, the strengths guy, talks with sisters Roohi and Nida Mohiyuddin, two inspiring women who have just launched Nu(pw)R, a new business designed to empower women through a unique three stage process. Roohi and Nida tell their story – what led them to set out on their journey and what difference they hope to achieve in the world. They tell us about their programme – The Confident Empowered Woman – and provide some tips and advice on how women can  shut down their inner critic, break down their barriers to success, and turn their strengths into superpowers. This is a very exciting podversation, what Roohi and Nida are doing is timely, powerful and hugely helpful for women seeking to build their confidence and become empowered. And it’s not only for women - everyone can take a lot away from this podversation. Read more:

Mar 7

33 min 25 sec

This week, Dr Paul Brewerton (aka The Strengths Guy) welcomes Rebecca Christianson. Rebecca’s been building her own people consultancy for some time. She’s an Executive coach and an expert on innovative People & Culture practices as she worked as an internal P&C senior leader and Executive for over 15 years. She coaches senior leaders to focus on mind-set shifts to thrive, using a strengths based and neuropsychology approach. Rebecca is super passionate about harnessing the power of Millennial leadership capability which is the focus of this weeks podcast. Read more:

Mar 1

43 min 16 sec Technology has made it genuinely challenging to deal with the pace and volume of information coming at us day to day. It affects our sleep patterns, our relationships, our stress levels. With all those potential distractions surrounding you, how can you improve your self-management to keep on top of your personal productivity and stay in control? Today's podcast looks at some practical tips for self-management in the digital era, including: - Remember who's in control, you or the technology. Even though the technology is designed to keep you interacting, you still have the power of choice how much to use it. - Being present in the moment and learning to push away distractions. - Prioritise true human connection. Although the pandemic is making it harder to connect in person but we can still use technology to connect with friends, family, work colleagues in more meaningful ways. - Build digital self management habits. Building good "digital detox" habits, such as no tech in the bedroom or at the dinner table, can be a great start at escaping the constant distraction presented to us by technology. Technology can truly enrich our lives if used the right way and hopefully these tips will help you improve your self management and stay focused in these increasingly digital times. QdyHeKOvMLqDSTc77EHA

Feb 14

9 min 5 sec

Read the article here: Online resilience course: ‘How can I develop resilience?’ is one of the questions we are most often asked at Strengthscope. Well, we’ve spent years in research and practice to discover the simplest and most effective ways to answer that question.  In this podcast, I’m going to share with you the model that we’ve arrived at and the methodology that we’ve taught through our training courses for quite a few years now. It’s a 5 step model, but building habits in any one of these areas will make a difference to your overall resilience, so the more habits you add, the more resilient you will become.  The 5 steps to building resilience are: Taking charge and controlling the situation that is causing stressMastering your mindset and making a choice how you perceive uncertain, unwanted or stressfulOptimise your strengths and energy to increase the liklihood of a positive outcomeBuilding a strong social support to act as a protective factor during stressful timesEmbrace the challenge and keep growing and developing At the end of the podcast, I’ll let you into a little-known secret that we’ve been hiding away on our website for a while that will give you access to much more of our thinking and tools on resilience.

Feb 7

8 min 48 sec

In Season 1, Episdode 4 I discussed 'How to give great feedback in 3 steps', both positive and negative, emphasising the importance of being respectful, listening well and asking clarifying questions. Although I touched on how to receive feedback, the main focus was on giving it well. In this podcast, I want to go more in depth on how to handle negative feedback, in terms of its emotional impact, how to respond to it and potentially act on it. I'll bring in some personal examples from both work and home. Both are just as important as each other and involve emotions and well-being, for both parties. In this podcast, I talk about: - Preparing to receive feedback and making the time and space to hear it well; - Being able to understand what the feedback means for the other person; - Taking feedback postively, not personally; - Using the feedback as a learning tool to help you evolve and grow. Learning how to respond to negative feedback well is a valuable skill and and hopefully these tips will help you be able to get the best out of your every day. Visit for more a full transcript and to sign up for exclusive Strengths Guy content

Jan 31

10 min 52 sec

During times of uncertainty and at the start of the year, people often tend to focus on their personal and professional development. As we move to the end of January, with the freshness of the New Year starting to wear off, could be time to reflect again on the important things in life and reaffirm the commitment to ourselves to do those things we’ve been promising ourselves we’ll do for years but have never quite been able to get round to it. In this podcast, we look at five ways to help you take control and own your development for the year ahead: Check in with your purpose – your personal purpose and your work objectives – to find focus for your developmentBe realistic – can you keep it going, is it possible, how can you make sure that you stick at it?Use your strengths to do it your way – whatever your development goals, how can you energise your development plan so that you can make it strengths-based and you-shaped?Supercharge a strength – push your comfort zone into stretch in an area that up to now you may have taken for granted because there’s nothing wrong with it, so need to stretch it, right.Bring a friend – development becomes so much more real and achievable when you have a critical and supportive friend or friends who are there for your journey. Hope you enjoy it and these tips help you get the best out of yourself in the year ahead, Visit for more a full transcript and to sign up for exclusive Strengths Guy content

Jan 24

10 min 20 sec

In this podversation, I chat with Larissa Batt about how to use the strengths approach in a sales context. For the last few years, Larissa has been in various senior sales role at Strengthscope and in her current role, she leads on all corporate sales, so she knows lots and lots about strengths in a sales context. This podcast will be of interest to anyone who ever needs to persuade or ‘sell’ anything to anyone ever. Which is of course everyone. And it will be of particular interest to people for whom selling in a commercial setting makes up a significant part of their role. We chat about: the importance of using the strengths approach in salesthe danger of overusing a particular strengthwhether certain strengths are needed to be successful in salesand 3 top tips for introducing the strengths approach into your own sales work or sales teams Read more:

Jan 17

11 min 56 sec

Today’s podcast is on growth mindset. Such a powerful concept. Central to positive psychology.  Evidence links growth mindset to a variety of positive outcomes: higher goal achievement, motivation, lower stress, anxiety, depression, better work relationships and higher performance levels.  There is so much science to back it up. Carol Dweck at Stanford University is the person to go if you want the science and the evidence on the power of growth mindset.  And while Dweck’s research is focused mainly on promoting the development of growth mindset in schoolchildren, it is also possible to develop a growth mindset later in life, even if you come from a starting place of fixed mindset, as many of us do…including me. In the podcast, I compare having a fixed mindset and a growth mindset and give 5 great tips for how you can develop a growth mindset, whatever stage of life you are at. If you enjoy the podcast, and want to get more from your every day, head over to and sign up to get our emails for simple and practical tips on everything strengths and life. Read more about developing a growth mindset:

Jan 10

14 min 55 sec

Start off 2021 on the good foot!  In the first podcast of 2021, I look at several areas that will help you shape the next 12 months in a positive way: How did you cope with the life changes brought on by 2020, and what did you learn about yourself through that? How can you use what you learned to take control of 2021 and make it as fulfilling, as energising and as 'you-shaped' as possible?How will you use your strengths to drive value in the year ahead? Which strengths will define your year and specifically how will you use them, while avoiding the biggest risks tripping you up?What's the best way to manage your energy? How can you find your joy and build resilience to do this? 2021 is just starting, let's get set up to make it a year which is stronger than ever.

Jan 4

9 min 32 sec

2020 has been challenging and damaging in so many ways. For many people, it has been completely life-changing. We have all experienced a sense of loss this year, but for some of us that has been loss of health, of loved ones, of livelihoods and of futures. There’s not much positive to be had in any of that. At least not on the face of it. And yet, somehow, even while the world has in large part been hibernating and grieving, there have been good things happening.  Today’s podcast is all about gratitude. Finding gratitude, sometimes starting that process through gritted teeth, but nonetheless feeling gratitude for what we have been able to do, what we have been able to learn, what we have been able to enjoy this year. What are some of the psychological and emotional benefits of gratitude and of being grateful on a regular basis?  How can you get those benefits?  What things can you do, in terms of gratitude, that will make the greatest difference to your mental, emotional and physical well-being? Read more:

Dec 2020

10 min 41 sec

During this global pandemic, most people have needed to adapt significantly to new ways of working and new ways of living that we haven’t had much choice over. Working from home, for millions of people, is just one of those adaptations. So now, many months on from the start of the pandemic, what have we learned about working from home well? About giving ourselves the best chance of bringing our best selves to our homeworking lives? This episode gives you my top tips for getting the best from homeworking as we head into (well, at least for now), more of the same. Read more:

Dec 2020

10 min 2 sec

Building trust is more difficult virtually than it is when you’re in the same place as other people. You miss out on all the ‘in between’ bits – the micro gestures, the informal chats, the side conversations after meetings. Read more here: All of that information can help us to build up a picture as to whether or not we can trust someone. And in the world of the virtual team, a world that so many of us now live in, that effect is magnified. In my podcast on how we can build trust as individuals, the world was a very different place, but of course there’s a lot that’s just the same as it always was.  In this podcast, I want to focus on how best to build trust in virtual teams. I tell you what not to do and give you 11 tips for building trust in virtual tips. With this list you'll be able to get your team to a place of safety and trust.  Enjoy it! It’s great when you get there and the journey is pretty fulfilling too

Nov 2020

9 min 23 sec

Team health is at a premium these days. As in wellbeing as well as performance for individuals in a team and for the team overall.  This year has been unprecedented in its demands on teams to flex and bend into all sorts of shapes they’re not used to. People leaving, joining, objectives changing, changing again, and for many teams, all in the context of zero physical in-person contact.  Checking-in on team health virtually is definitely trickier than in person but it remains more important than ever, given today’s uncertain climate, so that everyone in the team can really truly see each other and listen to and hear each other.  So, if you’re in a team, if you’re a team leader or if you’re working with a team, then this podcast is for you. The topic is disarmingly simple - how to do team check-ins well.  Read more:

Nov 2020

11 min 34 sec A series of real talk weekly podcasts covering topics to inspire, educate and well, maybe even transform. Occupational psychologist Dr Paul Brewerton takes you inside some of the stuff that can help you get the most from work and from life, every day. Get ready.

Nov 2020

3 min 42 sec

The term ‘dysfunctional team’ sends a shudder through many of us, bringing up visions of a team that is infighting, politicking, game-playing, back-stabbing, bullying and emotionally outbursting. So today’s podcast focuses on what to do when you are asked to support a dysfunctional team or if you feel you might be part of a dysfunctional team.

Nov 2020

11 min 45 sec

Team development is squarely and firmly back on the agenda in most organisations. Now more than ever, teams are working virtually, so organisations need a route map for building successful virtual teams. It would be easy to say that building virtual teams is just the same as building teams that are co-located, and to some extent that’s true, but there are definite differences.  In this podcast, I discuss five key areas to consider when building effective virtual teams. - how to build virtual teams using the strengths approach and how to make them work successfully.

Nov 2020

18 min 3 sec

As our new world of working continues to reveal itself, virtual teamworking is fast becoming a standard in many organisations. With more teams working fully virtually and others at least working partly on a virtual basis, there is a growing need for virtual teams not used to working in this way to get some tips on how to get the best from themselves and their members in the new normal. In today’s blog, I want to give you some tips on how to improve communication in a team, specifically in a virtual context, right now. Virtual team communication challenges, magnified in the new world of work, are what I want to focus in on now. So here are my 9 top tips on how to improve virtual team communication, harvested just for you from our collective new world of work team experiences at Strengthscope.

Nov 2020

14 min 51 sec